The Complexity of Proceduralized Tasks

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Springer Science & Business Media, Sep 17, 2009 - Technology & Engineering - 189 pages
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We think we have scientific knowledge when we know the cause. (Aristotle, Posterior Analytics Book II, Part 11) About 12 years ago, when I was a graduate student, many people were concerned about my Ph. D. topic – investigating the effect of the complexity of procedu- lized tasks on the performance of human operators working in nuclear power plants. Although they agreed with the fact that procedures (especially emergency operating procedures) play a crucial role in securing the safety of nuclear power plants, it was amazing that most of them pointed out a very similar issue: “I cannot understand why operating personnel see any difficulty (or complexity) in condu- ing procedures, because all that they have to do is to follow a simple IF-THEN- ELSE rule as written. ” Actually, this issue is closely related to one of the main questions I was recently asked, such as “Don’t you think your work is too acad- ic to apply to actual procedures?” or “I guess we don’t need to consider the c- plexity of procedures, because we can develop a good procedure using many pr- tical procedure writers’ guidelines. Then what is the real contribution of your work?” I absolutely agree with the latter comment. Yes, we can develop a good pro- dure with the support of many practical and excellent guidelines.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
12 Recipe for a Chocolate Chip Cookie
3
13 What Is a Good Procedure?
4
14 Scope of Book
7
References
8
Foundation
10
Complexity of Proceduralized Tasks
11
22 Managing the Complexity of Proceduralized Tasks
16
73 Identifying Distinctive Actions
94
74 Identifying Necessary Information
97
76 Assigning the Level of Engineering Decision
102
77 Constructing Four Kinds of Graphs
103
78 Quantifying Five Kinds of Complexity Factors
109
References
112
Integrating the Contribution of Each Complexity Factor
113
811 TS Dimension
116

References
19
Significant Complexity Factors
23
32 Complexity Factors of a Novice
24
33 Identifying Complexity Factors
25
332 Logical Entanglement
27
333 Amount of Domain Knowledge
29
334 Level of an Engineering Decision
30
34 Where Is the Starting Point?
33
References
34
Complexity Evaluation
36
Introduction to Software Complexity
39
42 Software Complexity Measure
40
43 The Concept of Graph Entropies
43
44 Selecting Appropriate Measures
46
References
48
Emergency Tasks Prescribed in the EOPs of NPPs
50
52 Event and Symptombased Procedures
53
53 The Generic Structure of EOPs
55
54 Emergency Tasks Prescribed in EOPs
58
55 Performing Emergency Tasks
61
References
63
Analyzing the Required Actions Prescribed in Emergency Tasks
65
61 Key Contents of an Action Description
66
612 Action Specification
67
62 Characterizing an Action
69
622 Acceptance Criterion
70
623 Constraint
73
624 Peculiarity
74
63 Constructing Graphs
75
631 Information Structure Graph
76
632 Abstraction Hierarchy Graph
79
633 Engineering Decision Graph
81
References
88
Quantifying the Contribution of Task Complexity Factors
91
72 Identifying Required Actions with Their Sequence
92
813 TU Dimension
117
82 Determining Relative Weights
118
821 Reference Data to for Determining Relative Weights
119
822 Obtaining Task Performance Time Data
120
83 Determining Relative Weights
121
References
124
Validation of TACOM Measure
127
92 Comparing with Subjective Workload Scores
128
922 Gathering Subjective Workload Scores
129
923 Reliability of Subjective Workload Scores
132
93 Comparing Task Performance Time Data Obtained from Other NPPs
136
References
139
Promising Applications and Outlook
142
Promising Applications
145
102 Identifying Complicated Tasks Demanding an Excessive Workload
147
1021 Three Kinds of Behavior Types in Conducting Procedural Steps
148
1022 The Meaning of Noncompliance Behaviors
151
1024 Criterion for Complicated Tasks
153
103 Providing Design Inputs on Effective HMIs
155
1031 Clarifying the Types of Information Displays
157
1032 Specifying Information Requirements for CBPs
158
References
159
Concluding Remarks with Outlook
162
References
166
Appendices
167
Categories of Complexity Factors
169
A2 Number of Actions
170
A4 Amount of Domain Knowledge
171
A6 Time Pressure
172
A8 System Characteristics
173
Task Performance Time Data Obtained from Reference NPPs
174
Brief Introduction to the TACOM Calculator
179
References Appearing in Appendices
183
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Jinkyun Park obtained his first degree in nuclear engineering in 1991 at Hanyang University in Seoul, Republic of Korea. He later earned his PhD degree in nuclear engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Daejeon, Republic of Korea. He joined the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute in 2000, and now works as a senior researcher in the institute's Integrated Safety Assessment Division. His main research interest is in the performance of nuclear power plant operators who have to cope with an emergency by following a procedure. Dr Park uses the theories of human reliability analysis and cognitive systems engineering to suggest a practical way to improve the performance of human operators under emergencies.